Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The journey feels long....

To be very honest, I just don't feel like writing today on this Journey to Advent. Like many, I am just plain tired. But when you're on a journey, you may pause and rest, but you can't just stop! (Yes, I did watch the Biggest Loser marathon tonight...) So here we go...one foot in front of the other.

Some of the following is from an article by Dan S. Baty called "Love Supreme" from Discipleship Journal, 2003. It was this article that prompted my previous two blogs, and it is based on the scriptures 1 John 4:8 - God is love, and 1 Cor. 13: 4-8. Enjoy!

"God does not envy or boast. 
Envy and boasting are first cousins - and strangers to love. Envy seeks to tear down others, while boasting seeks to inflate self. Both are rooted in insecurity. God's love has no such insecurities....Not only does God graciously enable me to succeed in word or deed, He assures me time and again that He 'delights in the well-being of his servant' (Ps. 35:27)." Dan Baty

God is not proud.
God has nothing to prove. He is God...yet He chose to come as a servant. It takes a lot of confidence to be truly humble. Think about those you know who do the most bragging - pretty insecure, aren't they. Just let things not go their way and you'll see them start placing blame on whoever they can find. But those who are truly confident aren't afraid to serve and enable others to succeed. In fact, nothing makes them happier than to shine the spotlight on others. I am so thankful that God ever entrusts His work into my clumsy hands. Wow.

God is not rude.
"God does not force Himself on us....Though He possesses absolute truth, He does not use absolute force to make us receive it. Instead, He knocks and waits for ready hearts to open the door (Rev. 3:20)" Dan Baty

God is not self-seeking.
"The Son of Man came [for our benefit, not His] to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:10) He gave knowing that some would not return His love...and yet He gave it anyway.

God is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs.
I've often said, if I were God I would have zapped us all by now! I am so thankful that God is not easily angered and in mercy gives us chance after chance. 
Psalms 103:8 - 18 
"God is sheer mercy and grace; 
      not easily angered, he's rich in love. 
   He doesn't endlessly nag and scold, 
      nor hold grudges forever. 
   He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve, 
      nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. 
   As high as heaven is over the earth, 
      so strong is his love to those who fear him. 
   And as far as sunrise is from sunset, 
      he has separated us from our sins. 
   As parents feel for their children, 
      God feels for those who fear him. 
   He knows us inside and out, 
      keeps in mind that we're made of mud."

God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
"God loves it when we see the world through His eyes, and He has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us through that lifelong process. (Jn. 16:13)" Dan Baty

God always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.
It is amazing that as many times as I've messed up, God still entrusts me with His Good News. Sometimes I wish He didn't trust me so much.....I feel like Peter. Still, knowing that Peter would deny Him, Jesus did not stop loving Peter - or believing in him! "When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." I really can't count how many times I've failed and yet God always gives me another chance. He celebrates my successes and heals my failures. 

God's love never fails...And that's as far as I can travel today on this Journey to Advent. Goodnight!

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